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Questions tagged [creative-writing]

"Creative writing" is a vague term, but generally means fiction, or writing that's not non-fiction, technical, or business writing. This tag should be used when asking questions that apply to multiple categories of creative writing, such as when asking questions that could apply to fiction or poetry alike.

16
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9answers
2k views

Describing a chess game in a novel

I have a scene in a upcoming novel where two people play a game of chess, and I realized how difficult it was to describe it. The problem is due to the fact that there are many pieces and you can't ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I use acronyms in dialogues before telling the readers what it stands for in fiction?

There are occasions where you basically just start a chapter with a short descriptive passage and go straight to dialogues, so in those situations I am not sure how to deal with acronyms in dialogues. ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy is when the audience is put off by the incredibly dark nature of a fictional work and won't care what happens next, lose interest or want all the characters to die off....
24
votes
15answers
6k views

Is a lawful good “antagonist” effective?

In my post-apocalyptic novel, my protagonist is not necessarily "good", and although the antagonist is an honest and kind person, my protagonist perceives her as "evil". My antagonist is the leader ...
32
votes
12answers
8k views

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

This is what Dean Wesley Smith teaches in his articles and workshop videos. He says that all you have to do is just write and publish your books on kdp (Kindle Direct Publishing, the self-publishing ...
11
votes
8answers
12k views

Is it better to describe the main character's physical appearance early on in the story?

I'm writing a novel, and I just realized I don't describe be main character's appearance until Chapter 3 (each chapter is 1500~2000 words long and there are 25 chapters in total). I do mention that ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

How do we distinguish someone talking to another person via telepathy rather than via vocal means? [duplicate]

In my sci-fi novel, some people have the ability to talk via telepathy so how do we distinguish telepathy from other types of communication? I would like to do it, because it's not the same, and I ...
13
votes
4answers
867 views

What should tie a collection of short-stories together?

Short-stories are a nice format to write. If you have been an aspiring writer for at least one year, it's quite probabile that you've got at least three short stories drafted out, sitting in some ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Using elision in poetry

I am seriously wondering what the limits are concerning the use of elision. It seems from the definition that elision is the omission of one vowel, consonant or syllable: In linguistics, an elision ...
-1
votes
2answers
40 views

How to make writing humorous? [on hold]

I think my writing tends to be too serious/intense or whatever, so I'm wondering how writers create humorous writing. I'm interested in writing some humorous short stories in particular. What ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Using a possessive pronoun before using its antecedent in a poem

I was seriously wondering if it's a problem to use the antecedent, which is "Mr Spooner", after the possessive pronoun "his". Also, I am wondering if we can use "his" without ever using an antecedent. ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Combining an idiom with a metonymy

I am not sure if this is possible. I would like to use a metonymy with an idiom, and it doesn't seem to be something people ever did, so it feels wrong. I have the following sentence: He was in ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

How do I tackle religion and mythology correctly? Without offending religious people [closed]

Update -- notes on April's Edits -- I added [[square brackets]] when I wasn't sure if my rephrasing clarified/changed the original asker's meaning too much. Please do edit my edits! I'm hoping that ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Using spoonerism for a non-humoristic purpose

I found this interesting figure of speech called spoonerism. Here's the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism Now, I have been wondering if spoonerism can be used in a non-humoristic ...
3
votes
3answers
100 views

Picking a good story goal for a morally neutral character

A blogger with the name of Glen C. Strathy said the following: The first and most important element of any plot is the Story Goal or Problem. This is the organizing idea around which the entire ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Make Emacs (or vim etc) like Ulysses

For many years I have been trying to find a good text editor for writing fiction. I have used Scrivener, Ulysses and others but they seem slow and you always reach the point where you want things to ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Rules about breaking the rules. How do I do it well?

There are rules to writing and we often talk about them here. But sometimes a good writer will break the rules. And to be honest some of my favorite pieces of writing are from when this is done well. ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Translating a rendering in Greek of a word/term/name in a different language into English

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias So I was reading this article on Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias, wondering how the author came up with the name. It basically says that "Ozymandias" is a ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

How do we properly show that a person is talking at the same time as something or someone else? [duplicate]

I am not sure how to best handle this, do we skip over a part of the dialogue? When a person is cut, he can resume, but it's not the same thing for a TV. Anyway, here's an example: The TV blurted ...
34
votes
9answers
8k views

My story is written in English, but is set in my home country. What language should I use for the dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer from the Philippines. I am writing a novelette for an international writing contest. My story is written in English, but is set here, in my country, with my POV character being ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Im writing a short story but Im struggling to show the read not tell the reader [on hold]

I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black. I can’t move. I can’t feel. I can’t smell. I can only hear my inner thoughts. What is this...? where am I...? I feel dead, but yet alive. It’s like my brain is ...
1
vote
4answers
93 views

Is it a bad idea to use footnotes to describe new technologies in a science-fiction novel?

I am wondering if we can use footnotes to describe technologies used in a science-fiction novel instead of describing it by switching from an omniscient POV, that describes everything in a poetic way, ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Which are the fastest-paying literary magazines?

How fast a magazine pays is a function of several factors like their response time for stories they accept, their payment policy (eg., paying on acceptance as opposed to paying after publication), and ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

How to write a puzzle without being too descriptive or vague?

I have recently joined the Puzzling.SE site and I am excited to ask few puzzles there. However, I am stuck, rather confused as to how a puzzle qualifies as good and precise. I want to ensure its ...
22
votes
14answers
8k views

Do I really need to have a scientific explanation for my premise?

So, in my post-apocalyptic novel, the world was caught up in an international war (basically WWIII), and all the world's nuclear superpowers launched their warheads and killed much of the global ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

How do I make a “contract” with my reader? [on hold]

(EDITED TO MAKE IT LESS BROAD AND MORE CLEAR). I recently asked a question about if I really need to include scientific proof for my mostly-non-scientific post-apocalyptic novel, and the best answer ...
5
votes
6answers
194 views

Including disabled characters without “inspiration porn”

We all have seen the headlines: "Touching Moment Where Autistic Boy is Asked to Prom", "Watch This Child With Downs Win Her Heat During a Swim Competition", etc., that are touching at first glance, ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

When should we redefine a term that's used in a different way in the book we're writing?

Let's say I am writing a fantasy book where magic users doesn't use something called "magic", but use something called "Hermetic". Where in the book should we redefine (give a new definition to the ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Should the length of the different parts of a novel be distributed equally?

Let's say that a novel consists of three parts: introduction, climax and conclusion. Is it ok if the conclusion is much shorter than the climax. For example, can the introduction be 20% of the novel, ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

How do we distinguish plagiarism from homage in literature?

In film-making, some people consider a copy of an action scene scene-by-scene to be a homage. Is it any different in literature; how do you distinguish the two of them? If, for example, we take the ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

How to describe my character using they/them so the reader doesn't know their gender until their pronouns show up later?

I'm experimenting with writing nonbinary or generally gender-ambiguous characters in my writing. The most recent example of this is in an urban fantasy story I'm currently working on in my spare time, ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

Are major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story distracting or do they make a story more appealing?

Is it too distracting to include a major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story? I mean a complete subplot or subplots that the character solves. Perhaps the examples below do not qualify as mystery ...
-2
votes
3answers
109 views

Short story vs. Novella [duplicate]

I'm writing a short story in the same universe as my post-apocalyptic novel, about the novel's antagonist. I'm planning on turning in this piece to my teacher as a part of my AP Lang portfolio. I'm ...
-4
votes
0answers
29 views

How do I re-word this statement [closed]

For once, it was the new, unsettled couple heard screaming. The aggressive yelling, screaming and ranting endlessly echoed for hours on end as the frantic yells slipped through the cracks in the ...
-4
votes
2answers
263 views

Need a resource for creative writing

I'm already quite good at writing and putting together words and sentences. However, I would like to improve myself to the level that I can write a nice entertaining novel or several short stories to ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

How do we create new idioms and use them in a novel?

I am not sure if people would agree, but I think because there were some authors who coined terms and idioms, anyone could create their own idioms. The questions is if there's a guideline, and if ...
5
votes
4answers
372 views

Is there still a market for solo adventures game books?

Game books like Choose your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series were very popular in the past. They are a series of single-player gamebooks. Typically, beginning at the first section,...
27
votes
11answers
6k views

Should we avoid writing fiction about historical events without extensive research?

I was thinking about writing about the Holocaust, but I am not sure if it's a good idea since I am not sure if people would feel offended if I exaggerate certain events or facts even if it makes the ...
4
votes
4answers
351 views

Using software with my writing?

I am looking for a good writing software. I'm not talking about something to perform just grammar/spelling checks, like word, which is great, but not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something ...
6
votes
4answers
106 views

'Ellipsis' - what do they convey and how to use them aptly in a Novel?

In the writing practises guides, it is usually mentioned that use of ellipsis is a bad practice. But I have come across certain usages in professional writing. To give an example; In the novel Eat ...
9
votes
6answers
300 views

How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?

Warning: I have ADHD and this might be a little ramble-y, sorry. I'm completely stumped. I'm trying to get into writing fiction but I feel that I've hit a roadblock. My story is told from the first ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

How to cue in our readers that we are using an uncommon symbolism?

We all know some common symbolism: For instance, red stands for anger, blood, and violence. The cross stands for martyrdom and sacrifice. Common symbols are easy to notice, but what if you decided to ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

How do we objectively assess if a dialogue sounds unnatural or cringy?

By unnatural, I don't mean ungrammatical, but something people wouldn't really say. For example, in many fictions, you find yourself in very weird situations and it's hard to know how a person would ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Naming Characters after Friends/Family

I drafted a book two years ago that I'm now polishing to publish. When I drafted it, for speed's sake, I named one of my primary characters after an old school friend who I'm still in contact with on ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

As a new author, is it possible to sell a book to a publisher within one or two weeks after you've finished writing it?

I know it normally takes several months to get an agent and then a contract. But are there any shortcuts, any particular companies that one can submit to directly and get a much faster evaluation? Or ...
2
votes
2answers
255 views

Is it OK to add description just because a chapter has none?

I am trying to write without description, only narrating the perceptions of my protagonist, both external (what happens) and internal (what she thinks). I want to avoid all those explanations that are ...
0
votes
5answers
145 views

Should we avoid having a protagonist of a different ethnicity than ours if we don't know anything about their culture?

Let's say I am thinking about making an Indian protagonist who lives in India when I've never lived there, don't know anyone who is Indian and don't know anything about Indian culture. Should I even ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

How do I write for the majority, without alienating my minority?

This is something of a companion question to How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references I have recently had a somewhat unpleasant experience reading Naomi Novik's ...
50
votes
12answers
13k views

Sometimes a banana is just a banana

Often reading analyses of books and films, I find that the analytics derive conclusions from the specific food or beverage that a character consumes. The food appears to always be symbolic of ...